October 19, 2013

Book: Dubliners by James Joyce

Filed under: Books — Tags: , — krishnafromtoronto @ 1:40 am

coverThis is the collection of short stories by James Joyce and is supposed to describe vignettes of Dublin life. The stories are of very limited interest to me, even the best of those being a drag and the worst were pointless and a waste of time to read.  Give this one a miss.

The first story is called The Sisters – An old man and a young boy are improbable friends. The old man seems to be dying. Cotter advises the family of the boy that perhaps the boy should not associate with old men and with books instead of playing, like other normal boys. The man sees the corpse and meets the sisters of the man. Is there a point to this story?

The next story is called An Encounter – Joe Dillon is a Wild West Pulp reader. Acts it out with Leo, his brother. Both are boys. Teacher discovers them reading half penny novels and is upset. Jon gets depressed, goes to next town and fantasizes about climbing a ship and going away forever. Makes a friend of an old man but when the old man starts talking weird, runs back with friend back to home!

Araby – A boy is in love with a brown girl but shy to talk to her. She speaks to him one day and he promises to get her something from the fair he goes to the next day

There are pointless stories like Evelyn, about a girl pining for a man who wants to leave town, After the Rush which is a much jumbled account of a boat ride and many things besides. Makes no sense.

Two Gallants – Friends. One boasts of a girl who is in love with him. His name is Carley. Lenehan, the other, laps it all up. Carley demonstrates by picking her up and taking her to a house that is deserted. He emerges much later and meets up with Lenehan

Boarding House – Mrs Mooney was freeloaded by hubby and throws him out. Tough as nails. She runs a boarding house. Her daughter has an affair with a boarder (Mr Doran) and is found out. Mrs Mooney orders him to come talk to her about his marrying the daughter now.

A Little Cloud – Little Chandler, a married journalist, meets Ignatius Gallagher in a pub. He is an old friend, free, full of adventures and promises and he envies Ignatius until he finds him drab and empty.

Counter Point – Farrington is an oppressed lazy employee. Once he defies his boss and stuns himself. Shirking work, runs to bar and is lionized by other employees for his defiant behaviour.

Others – a party where a man sings, carves turkey and ladies sing as well.

In all, they feel like what you would hear of men in your town, not even lives, but episodes of a day or a few hours. Most have no point, and the whole thing is a bore to read.


Let us say 2/10


–       – Krishna


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